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Illinois men’s basketball hires Brad Underwood as new head coach

Illinois+men%27s+head+basketball+coach+Brad+Underwood+is+now+faced+with+Jeremiah+Tilmon+requesting+a+release+from+his+National+Letter+of+Intent.+
Illinois men's head basketball coach Brad Underwood is now faced with Jeremiah Tilmon requesting a release from his National Letter of Intent.

Illinois men's head basketball coach Brad Underwood is now faced with Jeremiah Tilmon requesting a release from his National Letter of Intent.

TNS

TNS

Illinois men's head basketball coach Brad Underwood is now faced with Jeremiah Tilmon requesting a release from his National Letter of Intent.

Matt Gertsmeier, Staff writer

Brad Underwood has been hired as the 18th head coach in Illinois basketball program history.

Multiple sources confirmed the hiring of the 53-year-old coach on Twitter Saturday. Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman tweeted a photo with Underwood and released a statement on the hiring.

“In searching for a new coach, we were looking for a proven winner who would build upon our proud tradition while developing an unmistakable identity for Illinois Basketball,” Whitman said. “Brad’s teams play a fast, aggressive style and show unyielding toughness. They have a tremendous energy that I believe will ignite the Orange Krush and our fans to once again make State Farm Center one of the most intimidating venues in all of college basketball,” Whitman said.

In four years of coaching, Underwood has never missed an NCAA tournament. His best tournament finish was the Round of 32 achieved in 2014 and 2016 with Stephen F. Austin.

This past season, Underwood and Oklahoma State finished 9-9 in the Big 12 and finished fifth in the conference. The Cowboys earned a 10 seed in the Midwest Region of the 2017 NCAA tournament. Oklahoma State lost to Michigan 92-91 in its First Round game.

“Coaching basketball at the University of Illinois is a once-in-lifetime opportunity,” Underwood said. “The players, fans and administration at Oklahoma State have been absolutely incredible, and I want to thank them for the support they’ve given me and my family over the last year.”

Underwood played college basketball from 1981-1986 for Hardin-Simmons and Kansas State. He has been coaching since 1986.

Prior to his experience as a head coach, Underwood has been a part of multiple coaching staffs including Kansas State, South Carolina and Western Illinois.

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@MattGertsmeier

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